Challenge Jiu-Jitsu festival returns on March 26

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Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival returns to Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena this weekend for the second round of the season.

The Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival, a key component in the nation’s sports calendar, returns to Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena this weekend for the second round of the season.

Aimed at young talents aged between four and 15, the two-day event hopes to build on February’s season-opening round, which attracted hundreds of players from various clubs and academies across the country.

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, the nation’s governing body for the sport, is organising the event that aims to identify and nurture the country’s top young talents. The championship will begin on March 26 with competitions for boys and girls in the various age groups for kids aged 4-11, while Sunday will feature a variety of competitions for youngsters aged from 12-15. Registration closes Tuesday at 11.59pm.

“The Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival is in line with our vision of building a strong generation of athletes,” said Fahad Al Shamsi, the UAEJJF Secretary-General.

“The first championship, which took place last month, witnessed outstanding competitions. Several jiu-jitsu enthusiasts and parents who attended the event complimented its organisation, stating it was on par with international standards.”

Shamsi added: “We have witnessed an increase in the number of applicants for the tournament. This demonstrates that the event has grown in popularity among both children and parents and we are glad that a talented younger generation of jiu-jitsu players is on the rise. The future of our national sport is in safe hands.”

Meanwhile, the Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival will offer a variety of activities and entertainment events for families in attendance. Games and recreational activities for children will be available, while a special site for food trucks will also be present.

Meanwhile, The UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Team has entered the crucial final phase of preparations ahead of the sixth Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. Running from March 28 to 31 in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, the tournament represents the UAE’s first chance this year to retain an international title and bolster the country’s dominance on the continent.

The squad of 26 Emirati athletes – 12 men and 14 women – is ensconced in a training camp at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City. Overseen by technical staff from the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) and led by Ramon Lemos and Polyana Lago, the men’s and women’s coaches respectively, the players train in two shifts each day, from 9am-12pm then 6.30pm-8.30pm.

 “The team members have entered a vital stage of preparation for the championship,” Lemos said. “We’re putting the final touches on the plans and tactics that will benefit the players on the mats and our focus is on increasing the players’ performance rate as well as improving their physical strength through a comprehensive training programme. We concentrate on building fitness levels and following an optimal diet throughout the camp.”

 According to Lemos, the team has a diverse group of players that includes both time-served pros and young talents who performed brightly at the Asian and World Championships last year.

“We have a strong squad and are in a good position because several of our players have competed in Asian and World Championships before and performed well.

“Of course, we’ll be up against experienced training institutes and seasoned athletes, but we’re all set for the task,” he added.



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